Christmas in Japan

Happy New Year everyone!

So, someone asked about Christmas in Japan, so here we go…

It is celebrated here, but really only in the Christmas decorations, santa and eating Christmas cake way. Not much religion involved (bit like Britain these days I guess).

They really seem to enjoy it and have fun, where else would you get pizza’s delivered by Santa! (It’s true, saw loads of them).

We went to Universal Studios Japan at the beginning of November and it was all Christmassy-fied.

Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan

Big Ol' Christmas Tree

Big Ol' Christmas Tree

Christmas Jaws

Christmas Jaws

It’s kind of a couples holiday as opposed to a family one, as it is in England and maybe other western countries. Couples buy presents for each other, and spend the day together – or rather the evening, as it’s not a national holiday, so everyone goes to work as usual.

We were lucky this year, as on the 23rd it’s the Emperor’s birthday, which is a national holiday, but seeing as this was a Sunday this year, a lot of people got Christmas Eve off instead. Which was nice.

There are a couple of traditions to do with Christmas in Japan. One is the Christmas cake. On Christmas Eve, you have to queue up in a cake shop and buy a strawberry cream cake (they have other choices, but that seems to be the most popular).

My first Christmas in Japan we went to the Hankyu department store in Osaka to get the cake, and it was terrifying! Thousands of pushing and shoving cake-mad women – I was the only guy there, the other men knew to stay away. Never again! This year I went to a small shop in Ashiya, but even that was packed.

Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake

The other tradition, is, seeing as they don’t really eat turkey here (very hard to find, managed to get one this year though! 🙂 ), roast chicken, or more precisely, Kentucky Fried Chicken! This seems to be the Christmas dinner.

One thing I was surprised about though, coming home from work on Christmas day, all the trees had been taken down. It kind of finishes early afternoon, and that’s it. Everything comes down, and New Years
decorations go up (that’s the big celebration here…more on that another day).

So that’s Christmas in Japan. Santa delivering pizzas, strawberry cream cakes and KFC. Nice.

Comments (2)

New Years in Japan | Balloon Shapes By CopsDecember 31st, 2009 at 12:28 am

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[…] here, Christmas not so, everyone still works on that day). Although they do enjoy Kurisumasu, as I’ve mentioned before with pizza delivery guys etc. dressing up as Santa, […]

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